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Israel, Regional Allies Applaud Trump Call to Better or Bust Iran Nuke Deal

President Donald Trump delivers remarks on the Iran Strategy. (Official White House Photo by D. Myles Cullen)

United States President Donald Trump on Friday delivered a message that American allies in the Middle East have been waiting to hear: either improve the Iran nuclear deal, or cancel it altogether. “I am directing my administration to work closely with Congress and our allies to address the deal’s many serious flaws so that the Iranian regime can never threaten the world with nuclear weapons,” said Trump in comments posted to the White House website. “…However, in the event we are not able to reach a solution working with Congress and our allies, then the agreement will be terminated. It is under continuous review, and our participation can be cancelled by me, as President, at any time.”

In particular, Trump wants changes to the so-called “sunset clauses” that cut back on restrictions on Iran’s nuclear activities in coming years. The Iran nuclear accord is a controversial multilateral agreement between the major world powers and Iran that was put in place during the administration of Trump’s predecessor, former-President Barack Obama. The deal offered sanctions relief to Iran in exchange for concessions by Iran limiting their nuclear activities.

In addition to Trump’s ultimatum to fix the nuclear deal or else, he also announced plans to place “tough sanctions” on Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the powerful government-sponsored paramilitary group that has been involved in terrorism around the world. Israel, Saudi Arabia and others in the region expressed their support for Trump’s new approach to Iran. … Continue Reading

Iran Develops New Long-Range Missile, Promises to Continue Program

Will Iranian President Rouhani moderate Iran, or is he just for show? Illustrative. FEMA/Marty Bahamonde.

The same day that Iran publicized to the world the development of a new long-range missile that can carry multiple warheads, their supposedly moderate President Hassan Rouhani proclaimed that they would continue to “strengthen” those weapons. The Fars News Agency quoted him as claiming the missiles—the newest of which have a range of at least 1,800 km and are capable of reaching Israel—are for deterrence purposes. “We will strengthen our military and defense power as much as we assume as necessary for deterrence and we will strengthen not only our missiles but also our Ground Force, Air Force and Navy,” Fars quoted Rouhani as saying.

In a separate article, Fars reported that the Commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Force, Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, not only was boasting about the new missile’s range, but also that it can carry multiple warheads so it can hit more than one target. He said that it would be put into operation soon.

The Iranian missile program has been repeatedly criticized by the United States, who see it as not only threatening Israel but their country as well. Missile technology is a key component of a nuclear weapons program so as to deliver the powerful bombs at farther distances. … Continue Reading

Trump on Iran Deal Plans: ‘You’ll See What I’m Going to Do in October’

Could Trump nix the Iran nuclear deal? Radiation Warning Symbol. Public Domain.

The nuclear deal between Israel and the major world powers may have been made before United States President Donald Trump took office. But he can still end America’s participation in what he called on Friday “one of the worst deals I’ve ever seen”—and he could start to take that action this October. The Trump Administration has until October 15 to certify as to Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal. Last week, despite slamming the deal, Trump was coy about his ultimate decision on whether or not he will clear Iran or shake things up by condemning Iran’s behavior.

“Certainly, at a minimum, the spirit of the deal is just atrociously kept, but the Iran deal is not a fair deal to this country. It’s a deal that should have never, ever been made,” said Trump in comments released on the White House website. “And you’ll see what we’re doing in a couple of weeks. It’s going to be in October.”

The nuclear deal involved a number of nations, including European states, China, and Russia. But if the United States restarts sanctions on Iran, The New York Times reported that that would effectively scuttle the deal by nudging Iran to withdraw from the deal as well. … Continue Reading

Iranian Space Launch Condemned as Akin to Intercontinental Ballistic Missile

Could Iran’s latest missile launch help them hit the West with nuclear weapons? Radiation Warning Symbol. Public Domain.

The recent Iranian launch of a space launch vehicle missile last Thursday received condemnation from the United States, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom—which is especially understandable given that the missile research is ultimately a threat to their nations. A statement from the four nations—which compromise two-thirds of the powerful P5+1 group of nations that reached a nuclear deal with Iran in 2015—linked the space missile launch to efforts to develop missiles that can travel across continents and potentially carry nuclear warheads.

The statement, published by the U.S. State Department, pointed to United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231as calling upon Iran to “not undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such technology like this launch. Space launch vehicles use technologies that are closely related to those of ballistic missiles development, in particular to those of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles.”

The ominous linkage of the latest test to weapons of mass destruction was paralleled with a warning from the U.S. about Iran’s behavior. … Continue Reading

Trump May Release Secret Iran Docs; Iran Boasts Growing Missile Program

December 8, 2016 Iran Nuclear Program, News
Will Trump expose the Iran deal to be even worse than already known? Radiation Warning Symbol. Public Domain.

Will Trump expose the Iran deal to be even worse than already known? Radiation Warning Symbol. Public Domain.

The Iran nuclear deal was criticized by incoming U.S. President Donald Trump as being “disastrous,” and in January he may be able to release non-publicized documents that could raise even more questions about the agreement. The Daily Beast reported this week that senior officials who will be in the incoming Trump administration are looking at Iran documents the Obama administration put in sensitive information facilities that effectively hid them from anyone without security clearance, despite the documents being unclassified.

Among those documents include secret exemptions for Iran’s nuclear materials, which while secret were reportedly discussed in a report by the Institute for Science and International Security in September. Details about the prisoner swap between the U.S. and Iran and projections of the development of Iran’s nuclear program are also believed to be in the document list. Even some members of Obama’s own party have called for secret Iran documents to be publicized if there isn’t a legitimate reason to keep them hidden, reported The Weekly Standard. … Continue Reading

Expert Slams Nuke Deal as Iran Sets Up Air Defense System at Nuclear Site

August 29, 2016 Iran Nuclear Program, News
Is Iran laying the military groundwork for a nuclear weapons program? Radiation Warning Symbol. Public Domain.

Is Iran laying the military groundwork for a nuclear weapons program? Radiation Warning Symbol. Public Domain.

Iran proudly announced on Monday that they have stationed the advanced Russian S-300 air defense missile system at their Fordow underground nuclear enrichment facility, which left one concerned expert arguing the move highlights the failure of the Iran nuclear deal. “So why exactly did Iran deploy S-300 around Fordow? Hmmm, must be b/c Iran’s nuc program is purely peaceful…” said Dr. Emily Landau via her Twitter feed. Dr. Landau, a Senior Research Fellow and the of the Head of Arms Control Program at The Institute for National Security Studies in Israel, has long critiqued the Iranian nuclear agreement reached between the Islamic Republic and the six major world powers last year.

The S-300 launch was promoted by an Iranian general on the Fars News Agency. Brigadier General Farzad Esmayeeli attempted to defend the location of the advanced S-300 because the nuclear program needs security as an important Iranian achievement. Yet the same Fars article cited analysts boasting that the Fordow facility is so well built under a mountain that it’s impenetrable already. … Continue Reading

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